Manila, Philippines – Progressive organizations gathered at Plaza Salamanca on July 4 to register the Philippines’ sovereignty against the country’s unequal, neo-colonial relations between the United States.
In a statement by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), the U.S. still exercises control over political, economic, cultural, and military affairs over the Philippines, as manifested in its posturing as the latter’s “savior” over the dispute on the West Philippine Sea. BAYAN further posits that the U.S.’ intervention is merely a cover-up for its motive of positioning its military assets in Asia in order to maintain its status as a Pacific power.
The groups present in the protest action called for the junking of policies enacted by the Philippine and U.S. governments, particularly the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). They also declared their opposition to any form of foreign intervention, whether it be from the U.S. or China.
As Bayan stated in their statement, “For the Philippines to be truly prosperous and free, we need to break free from the unequal and lopsided relations with the U.S. We need an end to puppet governments. We need to establish a self-reliant economy that addresses the needs of the Filipino people rather than the needs of the global market. From a self-reliant domestic economy, we can develop the means to defend our waters and islands from any foreign aggressor.”